Standing on the Red Hill on Beijing M. Road, Lhasa, the Potala Palace is the highest of its kind in the world. The palace was first built in the 7th century and was damaged in the 8th century. In the 17th century, it was rebuilt by the Fifth Dalai Lama in three years. Its 13-story main building is 115 meters high and is composed of the Red and White palaces, with the red one in the middle. The main building consists of the Hall of Stupas of Dalai Lamas from various historic stages and halls of Buddhas. The White Palace is the residence of the Dalai Lamas and place for handling political affairs.
The Potala Palace houses great amounts of rare cultural relics including the Pattra-leaf scripture from India, Bak’gyur and the imperial edicts, golden seals and titles of nobility from the Qing emperors to the Dalai Lamas. You can read Potala Palace: the Pearl on the World Roof for more details.
Lhasa has a small number of public buses, but the numbers of registered taxis reach 1,500. The Potala Palace is situated in the city proper. Usually it costs 10yuan for you to go to the Potala Palace in Lhasa by taxi, and you can haggle over the price before getting on a taxi.
If you go to visit Potala Palace during the peak season (May 1 – Oct. 31), you need to book the ticket one day in advance since the number of tickets is limited every day. You shall draw the reservation ticket on the strength of your passport at the Administration Department of the Potala Palace, with which you can buy the real ticket on the following day. The reservation ticket will become invalid after the specified time. You shall go to the Reservation Ticket Verification Center (the Entrance of the Wordless Memorial Tablet) according to the time specified on the reservation ticket and then go up the mountain.